The UK and sporting world at large are currently being captivated by the fairytale story that is Luke Littler’s arrival at the World Darts Championship, and after going viral with his post-victory meal earlier in the tournament, a kebab house is offering him free kebabs for life he wins the whole thing.
Now these are the kind of stories we want to kick off the year with.
The 16-year-old darts sensation became the youngest player in history to reach the semi-finals of the Worlds, netting a cool £100,000 for himself in the process (not too shabby for a teenager), and is now a genuine heavy favourite to win his first ever PDC major on debut.
After telling Sky Sports that he planned on treating himself to “a kebab and a Coke” after his first wins, he delighted fans by sharing a simple but wholesome post of him doing just that at a London kebab house and, if he keeps on the way he’s going, he might never have to pay the pleasure ever again.
In a funny little twist and form of motivation from the world-famous chain and Britain’s biggest kebab shop, Kebhouze, their London site on Oxford Street has promised to give Littler free kebabs for life if wins the 2023 World Darts Championship final on Wednesday, 3 January.
The steaks (see what we did there?) have never been higher.
While he has occasionally switched things up with the likes of McDonald’s and revealed that he’s been treating himself to the post-match fast food tradition ever since he started playing darts “non-stop” from the age of 18, a doner wrap with nothing more than lettuce and mayo is his go-to.
Maybe it’s the humble, working-class relatability of it all, but it’s a running joke that hasn’t just been amusing fans and newbies to the sport alike but he’s been more than happy to lean into as he continues to take to the Ally Pally stage like a duck to water. The meme world has certainly appreciated it too.
Speaking on the tantalising offer that the Cheshire teen simply couldn’t refuse if he tried, Kebhouze’s Chief Marketing Officer Giulio Paternò told the Daily Star, “After hearing that Luke loves nothing more than a kebab to celebrate a win, we had to make him an offer that would further encourage the 16-year-old master player to win at this year’s PDC World Darts Championship”.
“Hopefully knowing that a lifetime supply of our premium kebabs as well as the esteemed title are just on the other side will give him more ammo to go on and win the Championship at Ally Pally. We wish Luke the best of luck – the next one is on us!”
Absolutely mint. With just two games between him and a first major title in his maiden World Championship (and kebab heaven, of course), having already wiped the floor with multiple senior and talented opponents with more pedigree to their name, we’re all starting to believe he can do it.
The Warrington teen faces Rob Cross, who also won the tournament on debut at 28 back in 2018, on Tuesday at 7:30pm, where he’ll make even more history if he manages to secure a place in the final two the following day and will play either Scott Williams or Luke Humphries for the Sid Waddell trophy.
When it comes to seeing how this spectacular story is going to end, we’re hungrier than Luke after a tense five-set quarter-final.
Featured Images — Luke Littler (via Instagram)/Live Darts (via X)/The Manc Group
Stockport County create a new community mural with young street artists in Edgeley
Stockport County is creating a brand new mural with a group of young street artists from the local area and a little help from one of their squad members.
This past February half-term, the Greater Manchester football club enlisted the help of some schoolkids and aspiring artists, along with local creatives from around the area to create a brand new piece of artwork right in the heart of the community.
With some paint, plenty of spray cans and the expertise of Manc muralist and designer, Oskar With A K, and poet Ruth Awolola, a dozen local secondary school pupils helped write, design and paint the mural — taking inspiration directly from the club and the thriving fan culture in Stockport.
There is no chant more iconic and important to the Hatters than their famous ‘The Scarf My Father Worse’ song and that’s exactly what the local artists have decided to immortalise.
The painting process began on Friday, 16 February and, as you can see, they even managed to rope in County defender Ethan Pye came along to lend a hand with the mural, armed with a can of spray paint to help the young people bring their ideas to life.
Being developed by the Stockport County Community Trust in collaboration with North West organisations, GRIT Studios and The Writing Squad, ‘The Scarf My Father Wore’ project has received £14,800 from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.
Popping in a prime location on the corner of Castle Street and Mercian Way — just metres away from the Edgeley Park stadium and right at the beginning of the local village high street — this vibrant work of art will be passed by thousands of commuters and pedestrians every day.
Being brought to life in brilliant blue and white in line with the club’s colour scheme and proudly printing the title of the famous chant on the wall along with stencils of the County crest, footballs and many other details, it sits pride of place in the Stockport suburb.
Much like the historic chant and the symbolic scarf itself, this brilliant piece of street art will be passed down and enjoyed by generations to come, as well as make sure the club continues to play a key role in local culture.
County’s Community Trust CEO Alison Warwood said: “This project shows how art and writing by young people can make a real difference to the local community, and I can’t wait to see the end result.”
John Macaulay from GRIT Studios added: “We’re thrilled to be involved in such a collaborative and community-spirited initiative. Our young artists will be helping to create a lasting landmark that will become a focal point in Edgeley for years to come.”
With the Hatters currently top of the League Two table and looking at yet another promotion season, there feels like no better time for fans to wear the club on their sleeve, their scarves around their necks and now up on the wall too.
Manchester City legend Joe Hart announces he will be retiring at the end of the season
Manchester City legend and ex-England international Joe Hart has announced he will be retiring at the end of the season, bringing a close to a career spanning over two decades.
The iconic Man City keeper and former Three Lions goalkeeper played 266 games for the Blues and had 75 senior caps, but has finally decided to call it a day at the age of 36.
Currently in net for Scottish giants Celtic, who are going for an incredible 54th league title this season, the number one and long-serving English keeper confirmed in a club interview that he will be hanging up his gloves at the end of this campaign.
He also represented his country at three major international tournaments but says he is now in a “place of clarity” and confident in his decision, with manager Brendan Rodgers insisting he will be a “huge miss to the game”. Truly the end of an era.
🧤 Joe Hart announces that he will be retiring from playing football at the end of this season.
Joe Hart is retiring after 20 years at the top level.
Having spent 12 years at City between 2006-2018 and making over 340 appearances in the Premier League at the likes of Burnley, West Ham and a handful for Spurs in club competitions, not to mention nearly a century of games for Celtic since 2021 already, it’s fair to call Joe Hart a footballing veteran.
All told, he has made over 700 appearances at club level and even more all-told, with half of a blockbuster season in Scotland still yet to go. Quite the achievement.
Most famously back here in Manchester though, not only did he pick up four golden gloves during his time at the Etihad but he was also in net for the Aguero goal when the Blues won their first league title in 44 years, and his reaction to the stoppage time winner is almost just as memorable as the strike itself.
But, more importantly, he had plenty of highlight reels of his own.
Speaking to Celtic TV following the announcement, the Shrewsbury-born shot-stopper said: “This something that I have thought about for a while, there’s no right or wrong time is there?…
“Physically I feel great — I feel as good as I possibly can do for my age and what I have done to my body, I have been on the bench since I was 15 and have been involved in professional football every day since I was 16.
“I have gone down every avenue to keep myself in the best possible shape to give my all on game day and I do really think I am at that peak, but I am aware time waits for no man and I don’t want my body to be retiring me. That was one of the key factors, thinking I can smash through the finish line.”